Jan Cochran, director of the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility, requests that LUAC be open on Sundays for an eight-month trial period.

LUAC’s extended hours mean visitors, residents can now adopt a furry friend on Sundays

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission approved a request to open the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility on the first Sunday of the month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on an eight-month trial basis.

Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility director Jan Cochran said she’s received feedback from community members who say they are unable to make it to the shelter during its current hours.

“We used to be open [longer] on Wednesday afternoon; we stayed open until 6 p.m. and we did this for about a year,” Cochran said. “It was really waste of our time because in a year’s time, I think we had like 20 people for adoptions, and the rest were over just lookers. We had a few that were owners that came in and picked up their animal after hours, so we did away with it.”

The current hours at the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility are from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

She said she asked an employee who works on Sunday if she would mind opening LUAC to the public.

“She said she didn’t have a problem with that, so we thought maybe we do a trial basis with the first Sunday of the month to stay open until 1 p.m., and she said she would just open the gate at 8 a.m. when she comes in, and it would be open to 1 p.m.,” Cochran said.

Cochran said volunteers will also be welcome to work the new hours if it fits their schedule better.

“She has one volunteer that comes up and helps her with the cat room, so usually they’ll do the cat room for her cleaning, and she does the dogs,” Cochran said. “She didn’t feel this is going to be any problem.”

Cochran said she plans on having a sign-in book available for people who utilize the new hours to see how active this time period will be and what people are trying to accomplish on Sundays – such as adoptions, just looking or picking up a lost animal.

“I felt we should probably do this for eight months because we’re getting into February right now so we can start it Sunday,” Cochran said. “Right now, we’re still in winter hours, and it’s also going to take some people getting used to seeing that we are open on Sundays, and we can do it through the summer and see as the weather gets nicer how interested people are in coming out.”

Robin Keough, a LUAC and LUV 4 Animals volunteer, said she has heard from several members of the community that the shelter hours are not convenient for those who work during the week.

“I’ve had many people from the community say, ‘those hours do not benefit me’ because our hours are open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and people in the community that work can’t come in on those hours,” Keough said. “Saturday is so limited because it’s only 10 a.m. until noon, and for people come from Lewis County, that’s really difficult for them to even make it in on a Saturday.”

Commissioner Kristie Tenney made the motion to approve the trial period and Commissioner Sam Nolte seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Prior to adjourning, the commission also:

  • Received correspondence from Upshur County Animal Control Officer Dustin Hollen, announcing his resignation, effective Feb. 7.
  • Approved appointing Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan S. Hinkle as the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office representative on the Court Security Board, effective immediately.

The regularly scheduled commission meeting for 9 a.m. Feb. 20 has been canceled.

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